The Best Draft Class in Philadelphia Flyers History

philadelphia flyers best draft class

NHL teams build their teams in many different ways. Some construct their clubs via free agency while others do it through trades. However, the main way teams create a roster is through the NHL Draft. Most years have maybe one or two players make the roster, but some years the general manager gets it right and gets a cornerstone or two for the franchise. The Last Word on Hockey is doing the best draft class for each team with the exception of the Seattle Kraken. Today we look at the Philadelphia Flyers best draft class.

Philadelphia Flyers Best Draft Class: 1969

The Flyers entered the NHL during the first expansion draft after the Original Six Era. Only two short years later in 1969, Philadelphia drafted some incredible prospects. In the fifty-some-odd years of the franchise, the Flyers have had some memorable drafts and picks. This draft class has some of the Flyers’ most historic players to help bring the team insane victories. These draftees stand out and helped tremendously to lift Lord Stanley not once, but twice.

Bobby Clarke, Second Round, 17th Overall

All-Star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Bobby Clarke was selected by the Flyers 17th overall in 1969. Clarke was a 19-year-old from Manitoba and sprung into the spotlight quickly as he started his professional career. Clarke earned the captaincy in this third year playing with the Flyers during the 1972-73 season. The very next season, Clarke and the Flyers won the 1974 Stanley Cup Playoffs. After playing for six seasons as the Flyers captain, he stepped down and became an Assistant Coach for the team. Clarke was a general manager for the Flyers, the Minnesota North Stars, and the Florida Panthers. Bobby Clarke is currently a Senior Advisor for Philly as of the 2020-21 season.

Dave Schultz, Fifth Round, 52nd Overall

Commonly known as “The Hammer,” Dave Schultz made quite a name for himself in the NHL. Schultz was one of the enforcers on the Flyers’ famous “Broad Street Bullies” squad. During his time playing professional hockey, Schultz spent a lot of time in the penalty box, setting a record for most penalty minutes in a season with 472 in the NHL. He was on the Flyers squad for the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons winning both Stanley Cups with them. After playing for the Flyers, Dave Schultz played for the Los Angeles Kings, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Buffalo Sabres before retiring in 1980.

Don Saleski, Sixth Round, 64th Overall

Saskatchewan native, Don Saleski, was also drafted 64th overall by the Flyers in 1969. Saleski is the last of the trio drafted in ’69 by Philadelphia to win two Stanley Cups with the team. In the 1975 playoffs, he scored 9 points to help the flyers advance through and lift Lord Stanley. He played 543 career NHL games tallying a total of 253 points with the Flyers and Colorado Rockies combined. Saleski retired in 1980 after playing his final 19 games with the Fort Worth Texans of the CHL. After his career, Don Saleski worked for business companies after starting his own.

Honourable Mentions: 2015 Draft

The Philadelphia Flyers organization has had lots and lots of drafts. In recent years, the Flyers have drafted some spectacular talent. During the 2015 Entry Draft, Philadelphia had two first-round picks. The Flyers selected Ivan Provorov 7th overall and after playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League, Provorov began his NHL career in 2016. He earned an alternate captaincy ahead of the 2020-21 season. The second first-round pick the Flyers had was 24th overall and they selected Travis Konecny. He played a season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Ottawa 67’s and the Sarnia Sting. Konecny began his NHL career in 2016 along with Provorov and has scored a total of 219 NHL points in his career so far. Provorov and Konecny may only have been in the NHL for a few years but they are quickly exceeding expectations.

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